Texas Rangers: Lose Both Series To Begin May

Rangers SP Cole Hamels has pitched well enough but hasn’t received the run support he needs.
Photo Courtesy: Darryl Briggs
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By Wiley Singleton

At the time of this writing the Texas Rangers are nine games back in the A.L. West, fighting through injuries and trying to find some bright spots in the season. The start of May wasn’t on their side. That being said, management has to start looking at the value of their trade commodities in order to maximize their trades. It ain’t over, but it ain’t pretty either…

Series at Indians

Game 1 – Rangers aging ace Cole Hamels was solid in the opening game against the Indians. Hamels only lasted 5 innings, but only gave up one run. Hamels was opposed by expert drone pilot Trevor Bauer, who struck out 11 over 6.2 innings. Francisco Lindor had three hits for the Indians, and continues to cement his status as a top tier middle infielder. The Rangers badly missed their star middle infielder, Elvis Andrus. Andrus is still recovering from his broken arm. Elvis’ absence was particularly felt due to the fact he hits exceptionally well at Progressive Field. The Rangers bullpen continues to be a complete disaster. The Rangers led 4-3 entering the 8th inning before surrendering a four run inning. Chris Martin was at the center of this and would later be placed on the DL. Alex Claudio was also ineffective. Mazara had a decent day. Loss 7-5.

Game 2 – Doug Fister had a great start for the Rangers. He was excellent, throwing 6.2 scoreless innings. Unfortunately for Fister, the days of Alexi Ogando and Neftali Feliz maintaining leads for the Rangers is long gone. Not to be undone by Chris Martin, Keone Kela turned in a four run inning of his own to send this game into extra innings. After the game was tied at 6, Alex Claudio came in and had his best performance of the season. Claudio threw 3 scoreless innings and picked up the win after Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Joey Gallo hit back to back homers in the 12th. Gallo’s insane power continues to be most compelling thing about this team. Rangers win a game they did their best to lose. Win 8-6.

Game 3 – Matt Moore might be the biggest Ranger killer since Khris Davis. Between his 2011 ALDS Game 1 masterpiece as a Ray and his starts for the Rangers so far Moore has done insane damage to the Rangers. Moore was butchered by the Indians lineup and put the game out of touch for the Rangers very quickly. Edwin Encarnacion crushed three homers. Corey Kluber turned in a quality start and Moore gave up 10 runs over 4.0 innings. The Rangers bullpen was too depleted from the previous night’s disasters and Moore was left out on the mound to be tormented by the Indians potent attack. Nick Gardewine pitched two scoreless innings. Gallo and Mazara both had homers. This series could have been won if not for the poor bullpen. Loss 12-4.

Series versus Red Sox

Game 1 – David Price has never been able to pitch well at Globe Life Park. He is consistently shelled by the Rangers attack in Texas. This trend began in the 2010 ALDS when he was dominated by Cliff Lee in games one and five. Price would continue to struggle in Texas, and the Rangers had a six run inning. Mike Minor turned in a quality start and the Rangers incurred such a big lead not even their awful bullpen could squander it. Mazara continues to be an RBI machine. He smacked five this game. He also had a homer. All Rangers. Win 11-5.

Game 2 – Rick Porcello faced off against Bartolo “Big Sexy” Colon in the second game of the series. Porcello seems to be returning to his  2016 Cy Young form. He dominated the Rangers lineup and picked up an easy win. He has yet to lose a game this season. Mazara and DeShields both had two hits. Big Sexy simply did not have enough run support to earn the W. Loss 5-1.

Game 3 – Another Cole Hamels quality start was squandered by the bullpen in this affair. Jose Leclerc, Alex Claudio, and Keone Kela all managed to give up a run and the Rangers were unable to recover. Jurickson Profar went hitless and seems to be jockeying to lose his job to Odor once Rougie becomes healthy. Profar’s average continues to plummet like the Rangers playoff chances. Profar is top 5 in the AL in errors committed this season, which is shocking considering he was not even really playing for the first couple weeks. Profar also made a key mental mistake in this series that did not count as an error. Again, Profar seems to be doing everything in his power to insure he loses his job to Rougie wants Rougie gets healthy. Rougie has led the AL in errors at 2nd base for three consecutive years. This 2nd base situation is reminiscent of the 1st base situation of the 2010 squad, when both Justin Smoak and Chris Davis had similar problems. Craig Kimbrel netted his 300th career save. Loss 6-5.

Game 4 – The final game of the series was a one-sided beating the Rangers suffered at the hands of the electric southpaw Chris Sale. Sale was masterful and racked up a dozen strikeouts. Ryan Rua managed the lone RBI of the day. Doug Fister got popped for six runs. But Sale was untouchable, so it did not really matter. Rangers lose both series, despite leading multiple games late. Loss 6-1.

Upcoming Schedule – All Times Central
5/7    vs Tigers     7:05 p.m.
5/8    vs Tigers    7:05 p.m.
5/9    vs Tigers     1:05 p.m.
5/11   @Astros     7:10 p.m.
5/12   @Astros     6:10 p.m.
5/13   @Astros     1:10 p.m.